Photos and Story by Sara Goodell
Be prepared to leave your shoes and  your worries at the door when you dine at Imperial Fez! First things first, remove your shoes, and get ready to relax and eat with your fingers: this traditional Moroccan restaurant encourages you to do as the Moroccans do. As you settle into the low chairs, benches and soft pillows, your server will explain the customs and traditions that they observe at this unique restaurant. To begin, our server Rigo brought a Tass (a silver hand-washing kit) and gently poured warm water scented with rose-water and orange oil to allow us to wash our hands at the table, and gave us clean towels to keep at hand. He explained the menu and the order of the meal, wrote down our selections and then, our journey truly began as Chef Rafih Benjelloun and his wife Chef Rita Benjelloun worked their culinary magic.

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7 Moroccan Salads

Salads and Soup
This selection of seven light, communal vegetarian salads are served alongside bowls of lentil soup and warm whole grain bread. The plate has a traditional lettuce salad with a bright and tangy vinaigrette, smokey chickpea hummus, eggplant with traditional spices, pickled carrots and cabbage, a turnip green salad and each can be (optionally!) enhanced with Chef Rafih's famously hot Harissa sauce.

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Photo from Imperial Fez website: Cornish Hen B'stella

Cornish Hen B'Stella
This traditional Moroccan dish is Filo dough stuffed with Cornish game hen, a multitude of spices and gently dusted with cinammon and powdered sugar. A delightful marriage of savory herbs, spices, perfectly cooked Cornish hen and sweet cinnamon and sugar, it comes to the table piping hot and beautifully presented.

Main Courses - Lamb & Apricot Tagine, Roasted Lamb Shank
The main courses are enormous so be prepared to take some home, although it is difficult to leave any on the plate! Each bite in these dishes is fantastically rich and intensely intricate.  Each carefully constructed dish has a myriad of perfectly balanced flavors, savory, sweet, tart and bitter, each in harmony with the rest. The meats served at Imperial Fez are all Halal and are expertly cooked to be fork tender.  The slow-roasted Lamb Tajine with apricots, dates, sweet onions and almonds goes in the Atlanta Food hall of Fame in my book. The Roasted Lamb Shank baked with cumin, garlic, paprika, fresh herbs and mushrooms is definitely at the top of the list for dishes I'd love to return to eat again.
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Slow-Roasted Lamb Tagine with Apricots and Dates
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Roasted Lamb Shank with Spices and Herbs
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Fresh Fruit and Filo Pastries with Chocolate


Dessert - Fresh Fruit with Filo Pastry filled with Chocolate, Apple and Dried Fruit
The dessert is refreshingly light after the rather filling experience of the main dishes. Fresh fruits adorn the plate with Chefs Rafih & Rita's small pastries to join in with a hit of chocolate and more elaborate spices and dried fruits.




Nightly Belly Dancing

Make sure if you go to an early seating to linger over dessert as the nightly entertainment starts at 7:30pm. The belly dancers bring energy and life to the quiet restaurant and complete your Moroccan experience!

Imperial Fez
2285 Peachtree Road, N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309
404.351.0870
 
 
Story and Photos by Sara Goodell
Flavors enjoyed a warm, summer evening in Saltyard's bright and airy dining room, devouring several courses of small plates brought to us by our kind and knowledgeable server Adrian. Saltyard's menu contains a number of tapas-style plates with straight-forward and rich flavors that are perfectly portioned for sharing. Check out Flavors favorites below:

DRINKS:

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A smooth blend of Jameson, Meletti Amaro, Lilet Blanc and Sweet Vermouth, this well balanced drink is a great way to start unwinding from your day! Rather a beer or a glass of wine? Saltyard has five draught beers and ten bottled beers as well as twenty choices for wines by the glass and seventy-five by the bottle; plenty to choose from!

COURSES
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Ceviche of the Day: Chilean Sea Bass with tomatoes, lime, sweet yellow peppers, and cilantro. Light and refreshing, it's a must have when visiting Saltyard during the summer!
Beet Carpaccio:
Red and yellow beets make a beautiful plate! Topped with a thinly sliced green apple and fennel salad, this bright salad is the perfect combination of sweet and tart, deliciously crisp and the curry vinaigrette adds a fabulous twist.
Fig Bruschetta:  Crispy bread spread with bleu cheese and topped with sliced figs and drizzled with honey, this is a tasty start to any meal.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts:  This dish is a small cast iron pan filled with perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts with lemon, anchovy and capers. If you're trying to eat more veggies, Saltyard makes it easy with this dish!
Corvina Sea Bass Tacos: One of Chef Leahy's specials of the day, these panko-crusted, deep fried tacos are intensely crunchy with bright, acidic flavors from the red cabbage slaw and intense umami flavors from the smoked chili tartar.
Sweet Potato and Smoked Pork Shoulder Fritter:  We were unable to resist this totally Southern Special made with smashed sweet potatoes and slow roasted smoked pork shoulder. The spicy pork shoulder combined with the sweetness of the potato created a well-balanced bite. To really get the full experience, dip these delicate fritters into Chef's sweet and sour Pappadew sauce: an intricate blend of Pappadews, dates, garlic, dried fig, sherry vinaigrette and brown sugar. Delicious!

DESSERT:


Mixed Berry Parfait: Light, bright and rich meld together in this dessert with whole blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries with whipped mascarpone and Amaretti cookies. Saltyard gives you an extra long spoon to get that perfect bite of berry, mascarpone and cookie all together! A great way to end an evening of exquisitely crafted food!

To keep up with daily specials and drink menus follow Saltyard on their website, facebook and twitter!
Saltyard
1820 Peachtree Rd NW
Atlanta, GA
404.382.8088


Photography by Sara Craig-Goodell